Promoters told to trim their costs as government covers outstanding debts

Editorial Staff

May 8, 2023

Service providers and others who are owed by the Festival Committee are receiving their payments, slowly but surely.

Festivals Minister Daryll Mathew told local radio Monday that as recent as last week payments were being made.

“I believe another set of payments should be made between today [Monday] or Friday, we continue to bring the payments down”, he said

He also revealed that his team has been meeting with several stakeholder groups who have been notified that it is going to take between two to three years before the government will be able to bring the payments for the carnival with the event for that particular year due to recurring bills.

“We have asked service providers to reduce the amounts they are charging by at least 30 percent, and many of them have agreed to reduce by 30 percent the bills that they charge the government, which we appreciated,” Matthew said.

“We have been getting some good sponsorship and while I know that we will not be able to clear up the outstanding debt and pay for Carnival 2023 this year, we are moving in the right direction where we will be able to settle out some of the old debt and move forward”.

Overseas entities hoping to participate in the festivities have also been slashed to make the 30 percent cut.

The minister was very strong in his conviction when he stated, “We want to have overseas artists here because they bring something to the event as well, but we are not going to spend stupid monies for it as well.  We pay what we can afford and if they say they cannot work with us, we go our separate ways and we find another alternative,” the minister said.

The minister also pointed to hotels and other businesses that benefit directly from the summer festival noting should be contributing to it financially.

Antigua’s Carnival will mark its presence on July 22nd. The pre-festivities of the carnival will begin on that date.

However, the carnival itself will start officially on the 27th of July and until the 8th of August.


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Antigua and Barbuda